Tag Archives: narcissism

Differences In Justifying & Understanding Abuse

There is often a great amount of faulty thinking among people that says if you understand why an abuser abuses, that means you’re justifying the abuse.  While that certainly is possible, it isn’t always the case, & it’s also never wise.

 

Anyone who’s been subjected to narcissistic abuse knows narcissists love gaslighting.  Any time they can mess with your perception, feelings & sanity, they are going to jump at that chance.  This even happens when it comes to  their abuse.  They often deny it happened, say it didn’t happen the way you remember or even blame you for making them do whatever it is they did.  As a result of all the gaslighting, it can be very difficult to know & understand the truth.  In fact, it becomes so difficult, many victims do take on the blame for being abused.

 

I was one of those victims who believed being abused was my responsibility.  If I would just be a better daughter, get better grades, obey my mother even more, etc. my mother wouldn’t have needed to spend so much time screaming at me & telling me what a horrible person I was.  Maybe too, my father might try to protect me from her.  I later carried that behavior into my first marriage & my current marriage as well, believing all of the problems in my marriage or with the in-laws were 100% my fault.  In fact, it’s only been in the last probably 10 years or so I’ve been seeing how wrong that is.

 

One thing that helped me to see that I wasn’t always to blame is to understand the people who blamed me.  I learned about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, then later that there are overt & covert narcissists.  I learned how these people behave, & how they abuse.  I also learned about their motivation always being procuring narcissistic supply.  The more I learned, the more I understood my abusers.  Things finally started to make sense.  And, the more I realized those who blamed me when they were the abusers were really messed up!  After a lifetime of hearing that I was the problem, I can’t tell you how freeing it was to learn beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I was NOT the real problem!

 

A lot of people will say understanding your abuser is a waste of time.  They’re evil, why bother?  Maybe that works for them, which is great of course, but for me, it was an integral part of my healing.

 

But, this could have ended poorly just as easily.  If I hadn’t questioned the “disorder” in Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I probably would have bought into  the false believe that narcissists can’t help how they behave, because it’s a disorder.  Even seeing all the narcissists in my life control their abusive behavior very well, I wouldn’t have trusted my own instincts about it being something they can indeed control thanks to years of gaslighting.  I could have justified their abuse because they have a “disorder” which means they can’t control their behavior.  It’s not their fault they act the way they do.  Who can control a disorder, after all?!

 

I believe this sort of thinking happens with some folks who learn about NPD.  They hear it’s a disorder, & are willing to absolve the narcissist of responsibility for their behavior.

 

Maybe other people justify narcissist’s behavior because the narcissist had an abusive or neglectful childhood.  While certainly that can create issues in a person, narcissism is a choice.  Narcissists choose to behave the way they do, & they do it because it gets them what they want.

 

Many people justify their behavior because narcissists are not abusive all of the time.  They throw in some nice behavior sometimes.  This confuses victims.  They know the narcissist is capable of being kind & hope she’ll return to being that way.  They fail to realize this is only to lure a victim back into the narcissist’s web, so they make excuses for the bad behavior.  They say things like, “She’s under a lot of stress lately” or, “He was just drunk- it’s not his fault.”  Nice behavior done by a narcissist is never done out of love, but as a way to manipulate & control.

 

Justifying narcissistic abuse in any way is NOT healthy!  It damages your mental health!  It makes you believe you are to blame for what the narcissist does.  It makes you apologize to the narcissist when she abuses you.  It makes you tell yourself incredibly damaging things like you don’t matter.

 

Always remember, there is a huge difference between understanding your abuser & justifying her behavior.  And, only one (understanding your abuser) has the ability to help you.

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The Real You & The False You

Some years ago, I began to realize I didn’t know who I really was.  I was the result of people telling me who I was, how to dress, what to like & not like.  It’s taken a long time but I can say honestly that now, I’ve finally shed that false person & become the person God made me to be.

 

This is very common with children of narcissistic parents.

 

As a child, you learn early on that your job is to please your narcissistic parent at all times no matter the cost.  If there’s something about you that doesn’t please that parent, it’s best to change that into something that does please that parent rather than face the traumatic consequences.  This behavior becomes such a habit, you aren’t even aware that you do it.

 

Eventually you grow up.  Not into the person God created you to be- an adult version of that false self your narcissistic parent forced you to become.

 

While creating the false self worked for surviving childhood with a horribly abusive narcissistic parent, it no longer serves you well as an adult.  Chances are, you’re unhappy & don’t even know why.  Maybe you work at a job you hate.  Even though it’s a good job that pays well, it just doesn’t fulfill you or bring you any joy.  Maybe you wear a style of clothing you hate just because it’s what you feel you’re supposed to wear, thanks to your narcissistic parent.

 

It’s time for this behavior to stop.  Whether or not your narcissistic parent is still a part of your life, it’s time to stop worrying about pleasing your parent & start worry about pleasing yourself.

 

As always, prayer is the best place you can start.  Ask God to help you become the person He made you to be, & be glorified through you.  Ask Him to show you what you need to do to accomplish this.

 

Also, start paying attention to yourself.  This is hard to do, I know.  Narcissistic parents raise their children to ignore themselves & focus on the parent, & that is a tough habit to break.  It needs to be done though!  Pay attention to how you feel about things.  Do you really like that car you drive or is it just because your narcissistic parent said you should drive it?  If your job isn’t fulfilling, ask yourself why?  What about it doesn’t work well for you?  Do you really like vanilla ice cream even though you were always told you didn’t?  Even little things like the ice cream thing are important- your likes & dislikes make you, you.  So pay attention!  The more you pay attention to how you really feel about things, the easier it gets.  And, the more you learn, the more you’ll want to learn.  You’re going to find out that you’re actually a very interesting, special, unique person!

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How Families Protect Their Narcissist

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Shock & Abuse

Sometimes when abuse gets especially bad, it can put a person into shock.  This can be expected when someone is beaten or raped, especially by someone known to the victim, but it comes other times as well.

 

In cases of narcissistic abuse, a narcissist can be much like a machine gun of abuse- shooting out abuse after abuse in a short period of time.  A victim doesn’t have the time to cope with one episode before another comes along.  Or, the abuse can be so outrageous that it is simply unbelievable.  When this happens, victims can go into a state of shock

 

I believe this happens because the brain is trying to protect the victim.  Shock gives a person time to come to terms with the fact something awful has happened.  Unfortunately though, it still can be difficult to go through.  Focus & concentration can be hard to come by.  You may feel very “spacey”.  You also may miss things you normally notice such as if someone is making a joke.  And, you may not be able to identify your emotions.

 

During the last few weeks of my father’s life, due to the constant abuse I received for not saying good bye to him as well as my own grief, I experienced shock like I’ve never experienced before.  (That’s saying something too since I experienced it on a regular basis growing up due to constant abuse, especially in my late teens.)  At the time of me writing this, my father has been dead for about six weeks now, & the shock is still there.   It’s finally starting to diminish a little bit. One plus at least is I’m learning how to cope with shock, so I thought I’d share what I’m learning with you, Dear Reader.

 

I don’t think it’s a good idea to try to get over shock right away.  It happened for a reason- to protect your mental health.  Don’t try to force yourself to get better right away, because obviously you aren’t ready to cope with what happened just yet.  It reminds me of repressed memories- forcing them to come back to the forefront of your mind can cause you more suffering than is necessary.  Just let the shock work itself out.

 

Try to take care of yourself.  I say try because as an adult child of narcissistic parents, I know self care isn’t easy.  Try it anyway.  Get plenty of rest, eat good food, & don’t neglect your physical health.  Shock can take a toll on your body as well as your mind, so treat it well.

 

Do things that make you feel nurtured.  Drink herbal tea, coffee or cocoa.  Spend a day curled up in your favorite blanket & watch funny movies all day.  Buy yourself little treats like a new book or CD you’ve been wanting.  Simple little gestures can help you to feel better.

 

In time, the shock will lift, & you will need to face what you’re feeling after your trauma.  Don’t forget to continue taking good care of your physical & mental health when that happens!  Emotional work takes up a lot of energy, so you need to take care of both your physical & mental health as you heal.

 

I noticed something about my situation that I wonder if others have faced as well.  During the worst of the shock, I stopped remembering my dreams.  This was very odd for me as I’ve always had very vivid dreams that I clearly remember.   I believe that is because my brain was trying to come to terms with the daily traumas I endured for that time.  I finally started remembering some of my dreams about five weeks after the last traumatic episode surrounding my father’s death happened.

 

I find dreams to be extremely helpful in understanding my emotional health.  I strongly advice paying attention to your dreams once you begin having them again.  Write them down.  Look up dream symbols to help you to understand what your dreams are about.  Personally, I like http://www.dreammoods.com .  Also ask God to help you to understand them.  You may find some valuable insight in your dreams.

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Rejection Takes Many Forms

Rejection is a huge part of narcissistic abuse.  It may not seem like it at first, but when you think about it, it really is.

Rejection isn’t only kicking someone out of your life.  Rejection can take many other forms.

Telling someone that they aren’t good enough is a form of rejection.

A parent failing to protect their child is rejecting the child.

Not allowing a child to have any rights is rejection.

Not hearing a child is rejection.

Invalidating a child is certainly rejection.

Treating a child as if the child has no value is rejection.

Rejection in childhood is extremely damaging.  It can destroy a child’s self-esteem, inhibits their ability to trust people, & makes them relate to others in unhealthy ways.  They can develop anxiety or anger problems.

To undo this damage, prayer is vital, in my opinion.  Ask God where to start.

I also believe that learning what the Bible has to say about you is very important.  I created a list of positive affirmations, & put them on my website.  Feel free to print them out if you like.  They can be found here: http://cynthiabaileyrug.com/Positive-Affirmations.php

Another thing that I find is important is realizing that any parent who rejects her own child has problems.  Narcissists are incredibly dysfunctional in their thinking, which is why they hurt even their own children.  They have problems!  Normal people don’t deliberately hurt anyone, especially their own children.

Dear Reader, just because you have been rejected by your parent doesn’t mean you are bad or flawed or whatever they said about you.  You are a child of God, & God doesn’t make mistakes!

Psalm 27:10  “Although my father and my mother have abandoned me,
Yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child].”  (AMP)

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Discrediting The Victim

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Denial

Denial is a common survival tool of victims of all types of abuse.  Pretending things didn’t happen, weren’t that bad or there was a good reason your abuser acted as she did are all forms  of denial.

 

Denial may help you to cope for a while, but it shouldn’t be a permanent solution.  It can be very unhealthy.

 

It enables you to avoid facing the damage done & the pain you feel.  Although that may feel good for a short time, in the long run, it can hurt your physical & mental health.  Stifling emotions can create anxiety, depression, headaches, body aches with no physical cause, high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes & more.

 

Denial may get you through a bad situation as it’s happening, but otherwise, it has no benefits.  I know facing the ugly truth can be hard, but I want to encourage you, Dear Reader, to face it.  As hard as it may be, it’s actually much easier in the long run than denial is.

 

Facing the truth allows you to heal.  When you no longer deny the facts, you can see the situation for what it is, then deal with it & heal from the damage.

 

Staying in denial often also means staying in an abusive situation.  Many people think they don’t have a right to be upset about their situation because their narcissistic parent wasn’t as bad as someone else’s, or at least their abusive husband didn’t beat them like their friend’s did, so they continue to have a close relationship with their abuser.  There is no logic at all in this!  Abuse is abuse, period!  It’s all bad!  Degrees of abuse don’t matter.  What does matter is no one should tolerate being abused!

 

When you know you need to start facing certain things, it’s time to get into prayer.  Ask God to help you.  Ask Him for strength & courage.  Ask Him to enable you to face whatever you need to, & only to allow you to face what you are able to at any given time.  You will be glad you did this as you begin to face ugly truths.  And, you’ll be glad you started facing those truths once you realize how much healthier you’ve become!

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Loving Narcissists?!

Matthew 5:44  “But I say to you, love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for]your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” (AMP)

 

When it comes to loving narcissists, it feels like an impossible task. They aren’t easy people to love, because of all the cruel & horrible things they do to their victims.  How can you feel all warm & fuzzy towards someone who deliberately hurts you?!

 

You can’t.  But, the good news is God’s kind of love isn’t always about the warm & fuzzy feelings.  Reread the above Scripture again if you don’t believe me.  It says that “love is unselfishly seeking the best or higher good for someone.”  You can do that without feeling warm, fuzzy feelings.

 

Probably about two years ago by now, God put it on my heart to pray for some people who have hurt me a great deal in my life.  Then, He kept wanting me to add to the list.  Daily I pray for many abusive people who have been in my life, including my narcissistic parents.  Honestly, it was a bit of a struggle for me to pray for such mean people at first, but it’s gotten much easier as I’ve gotten in the habit of praying for them each morning.  I even set a reminder on my cell phone to remind me to pray each morning.

 

It has helped me too, to realize it’s possible to love someone without liking them.  We are called to love people, not like them, & there is a big difference.  Loving someone means you want the best for them while liking someone can be more about the “fuzzy” feelings.

 

You may not believe it, but it’s possible to love narcissists God’s way.  Simply wanting the best for them is Godly love.  You may not be able to stand the sight of someone, yet love them God’s way.

 

In fact, there are loving behaviors that most likely narcissists won’t think are loving, but they truly are.  Setting boundaries, for example.  Boundaries not only protect you, but they encourage the other person to behave in a healthy way.  Sometimes even ending a relationship can be a loving thing to do if you think about it.  Just being in the presence of a narcissist can stir up strife.  Removing yourself from their life means you are also removing one person for them to abuse.  It can be a very loving thing to go no contact for yourself as well as a narcissist.

 

Remembering these things has been helpful to me.  Aside from enabling me to pray for them, & God wants us to pray for our enemies, it’s given me peace.  I’ve been accused of hating narcissists that I have ended relationships with, which left me feeling shame.  Thankfully God showed me the truth though, & that truth is that I do love them, I just don’t like them.  That is important to know because it eliminates guilt & shame that have no place in your heart.

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Things To Watch Out For When Going No Contact

If you are at the point in your relationship with the narcissist in your life where you are ready to go no contact, I truly wish you the best.  It’s not an easy decision to make, so it shows you have courage & strength just to make the decision.  You’ll need it to follow through with it.

 

So many people that write about narcissistic abuse make it sound like it’s all so simple.  “Just” cut the abuser out of your life & all will be fine from now on.  Unfortunately, that is very far from true!

 

The narcissist may not respect your decision.  Narcissists don’t respect boundaries, so why would they respect this one?  They think they alone should decide what happens in relationships, & if the other person in the relationship makes any decisions like setting boundaries, that person is wrong.  They often do things like constantly trying to contact you via phone, email, text or social media.  They sometimes say they want to know what’s wrong, but truth be told, they only want to tell you why you’re wrong for feeling the way you do.  They also may say they’re sorry.  Listen to the apology if one is offered.  Most likely it’ll be a fake apology designed to pacify you & lure you back into the relationship.  Something like “I’m sorry if I hurt you”  “I’m sorry you feel that way” or lame excuses for their behavior.  A genuine apology offers no excuses, genuinely admits to wrongdoings & behavior changes.  Use your discernment & what you have learned about narcissism so you don’t fall for the act & apology!

 

Granted, most narcissists smear their victims behind their back for years in order to discredit the victim (in case the victim tells others of the abuse, she won’t be believed), but it gets worse once you initiate no contact.  The narcissist will tell anyone who will listen about how mean you are, how you hurt her, how she doesn’t understand why you’d behave this way & more.  This is basically damage control- if the narcissist can convince others you are mentally unbalanced or even just a bad person somehow, others will believe the narcissist’s version of events over yours.  The narcissist’s reputation then will remain in tact while yours is in shreds.  As counter productive as it may sound, refuse to defend yourself.  Any self defense will be construed as you being just as awful as the narcissist said you are.  Sadly, you still will lose friends & family, but if they blindly believe a narcissist, you truly are better off without them.  People who truly love you won’t believe the narcissist’s lies.

 

Do not feed the flying monkeys!  If the narcissist can’t reach you because you have blocked their access to you, they will send flying monkeys.  It’s a given.  They are going to come out of the woodwork & tell you how sorry the narcissist is, they didn’t mean to hurt you, they were just trying to help, she had a bad childhood so she didn’t know any better & a plethora of other lame excuses why it’s OK that the narcissist abused you.  They are convinced the narcissist is right & you’re wrong & they don’t want to be bothered with the truth, so don’t waste your breath telling them the truth.  Their loyalty to narcissists knows no bounds.  Ignore the flying monkeys!  If you can, avoid them or sever ties with them.  If you can’t, refuse to discuss the narcissist or anything about the narcissist with them.  Tell them the topic isn’t something you’re willing to discuss with them.  Change the subject.  Repeatedly.  Be rude if you must.  Hang up the phone or walk away.  Repeat as often as necessary.

 

Stand strong in the truth.  You know what happened.  You know what the narcissist is capable of.  Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.  Write down everything you can think of, so that way if you feel any doubts, you can read over your experiences to remind you of what made you come to this difficult decision.

 

Work on healing.  When there is a narcissist in your life, it’s nearly impossible to heal because they take up so much time, energy & thought.   Once they are no longer in your life, that is gone.  It’s a huge relief!  It also means your mind has more time, energy & thoughts it can devote to your healing from the abuse.  In fact, it may not give you a choice.  I found that some time after being no contact with my narcissistic parents, I started having more intrusive thoughts, flashbacks & nightmares than usual.  Thankfully, it didn’t last forever & they calmed down after a while.  During prayer, God told me it was because I no longer had to function in survival mode.  My brain needed to heal from so much & hadn’t been able to do it for a long time.  It was like it was forcing me to face things so it could feel better.  I figured if these things were happening, I might as well use them to my advantage.  The more you heal from things, the less intrusive thoughts, nightmares & flashbacks you have about them & they eventually can disappear

 

Most of all, pray.  People can be a great support of course, but not everyone understands your suffering.  God, however, does.  He will help you to cope & to heal as well as comfort you when you’re hurting if you let Him.  All you have to do is ask.

 

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Getting To Know Yourself After Narcissistic Abuse

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Holiday Thoughts

For many people, the holiday season is a glorious time of year.  The time to enjoy friends, family & celebrations.  For others like me who have survived demanding, controlling, entitled or even narcissistic parents &/or in-laws however, the mere thought of the holidays brings about a feeling of dread.

 

My first & current mothers in-law both always demanded my husband’s & my presence every Thanksgiving & Christmas, no matter what.  Divorcing my ex & cutting my current in-laws out of my life in 2002 naturally ended their demands for me at least but the damage was done.  The enjoyment I once felt for the holidays was gone.  Years of spending holidays with people who obviously hated me or alone while my husband spent the day with his family destroyed all pleasure I’d once had in holidays.

 

I know that my story isn’t all that unusual.  So many others have been through very similar situations that I thought sharing some thoughts I’ve had on this topic might help you, Dear Reader.

 

When you develop this holiday bitterness, people aren’t always understanding.  Most people seem to want everyone to look forward to holidays with enthusiasm & joy, & if you don’t, they can be shaming.  Many others I know & I have been scolded for not trying to enjoy holidays, told they need to just focus on the joy of the day, everyone loves holidays, etc etc.  What these people fail to realize is this holiday bitterness didn’t happen over night.  We have tried to enjoy the holidays repeatedly, but demanding people ruined it by commanding us to do what they want us to do & treating us badly when we didn’t do it (well, often worse than usual since bad treatment is the norm with narcissists).  It came about when in-laws demand we ignore our own family in favor of them, & treated us badly & acted like something is wrong with us for not wanting to spend a holiday with them.  They also shame us for wanting to spend a holiday with our immediate family- our spouse & kids- rather than with them.  These people think shaming us & ordering us around is OK.  Really, how does that make any sense?

 

I’m not saying holiday bitterness is a good thing.  Frankly, it stinks!  I miss looking forward to the holidays & hate how I dread what was once a time of year I looked forward to.  What I am saying though is that there is no shame if you feel differently about holidays than the average person does.

 

Sometimes, too many bad seeds have been sown to overcome.  Something unpleasant is the only possible harvest when that happens.  Of course it’s a good idea to try to counteract the bad feelings, but if nothing works, it doesn’t mean something is wrong with you or that you’re a bad person.  If you can’t conquer holiday bitterness, it just means that some really bad things have been done that caused you to feel this way.

 

Dear Reader, I’m sorry you feel this nasty holiday bitterness.  I hope you can conquer it by starting your own traditions, avoiding negative people around the holidays, suggesting holiday gatherings with extended family on a different day near the actual holiday while you spend the holiday with your immediate family, etc.  If you can’t however, then at the very least, please don’t beat yourself up over it.  It’s simply a normal reaction to abnormal circumstances, & it happens more often than you might think.

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My Newest Book About Covert Narcissists Is Now Available

Hello, Dear Readers!

 

I just wanted to let you know that my newest book, “In Sheep’s Clothing:  All About Covert Narcissists” has been published in both ebook & print formats.

 

If you want to check them out, you can click on the links in the last paragraph, or go to my website at:  http://www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com

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Narcissistic Parents And Revenge

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About Being Invisible

Growing up with narcissistic parents, you learn early in life to be invisible.  Stay out of everyone’s way.   Don’t bother anyone with your “petty” needs or problems.  After all, your parents are the important ones, not you.  You are there to attend to their needs, not them to yours.  They have drilled these so-called facts into your head from birth, so you know them well.

 

Being invisible is not only a way of life, but a handy survival tool in that type of environment.  The less your narcissistic parents notice you, the less likely they’ll use or abuse you.  Staying quiet & out of their way can make your childhood somewhat easier.

 

While being invisible can serve you well while in such a toxic environment, it is no longer necessary once you are out of it.  In fact, it won’t help you at all & may hurt you instead.

 

If you continue to remain invisible, people may not necessarily abuse you, but they also will not be there for you or love you as you need, because they will not notice you.  Or, if they do notice you, your needs won’t be very important to them because they don’t appear important to you.  Not discussing your needs makes people not even realize you have them.

 

Dear Reader, if this is you, it’s your time to become visible!  Let people know you exist.  It is perfectly OK to have needs & wants, & to let those be known among those close to you.  In fact, it’s healthy to do so.  In normal, healthy relationships, both parties have needs & let each other know what they are with the expectation that when possible, the other person will fulfill them.  God has created people to need one another, after all.  He obviously knows best, so why not try living life His way?

 

 

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Let Jesus Help You Heal

John 8:12  “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”  (KJV)

 

We all know that light conquers darkness.  If you were in a pitch dark room & lit a match, that tiny match would dispel a surprising amount of darkness.

 

Jesus referred to Himself in the above Scripture as the light of the world for a reason.  Light also gives life- look at plants, as an example.  Without light, they won’t survive.  Like light, Jesus gives life- eternal life.  If you follow Him, He will make clear what path to take in your life.  He also can show you things you might not have noticed before.  (If it wasn’t for Him, I don’t know if I’d know anything about narcissism.)

 

In your journey of healing from narcissistic abuse, have you asked the Lord to help you?  He truly wants to!  And, although even He can’t make it easy, He can help to make it less painful & difficult.  I can tell you from my own experience, I wouldn’t be where I am now without His help.  He’s shown me what I needed to do & how to do things.  He’s answered my questions, let me rant when I was angry or hurting & comforted me when no one else could.

 

If you haven’t asked Jesus for help in your healing journey, maybe now is the time for you to do that.  He wants to help, so let Him!  Ask Him to show you what you need to do & how you need to do it.  Ask Him for comfort, wisdom, strength, courage & anything else you need.  He will be more than glad to help, so why not let Him?

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Parents Who Demand Their Adult Children Spend Holidays With Them

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The Narcissistic Apology

Narcissists are the most superficial bunch of people you can imagine.  Everything about them is a charade, right down to their apologies.

 

On the rare occasion they do apologize,  there isn’t one sincere thing about it.  Maybe they say the right words, but I can assure you, there is nothing sincere about apologies coming from a narcissist.

 

If you’re wondering how you can be sure whether or not the narcissist in your life truly means their apology, I am going to list some differences below between a sincere apology & a narcissistic apology.

 

  • Sincere apologies always include accepting responsibility for the wrong that was done & don’t shift blame.  Narcissists may say they are sorry for what they did, but then they make an excuse for it.  “I’m sorry I said that, but I wouldn’t have said it if you wouldn’t have done….”  Or, they may even deny doing what they did entirely, making you feel like you’re crazy.
  • If the behavior doesn’t change, the apology isn’t sincere.  People who truly are sorry for hurting another person do their best never to repeat that behavior.  Insincere apologies may sound sincere sometimes, but the fact the offending person’s behavior didn’t change is a big clue that they didn’t mean their apology.
  • Insincere apologies are passive/aggressive.  “I’m sorry you feel that way.”  “I’m sorry you think what I did was wrong.”  While the words “I’m sorry” are being said, it’s clear the person saying such things doesn’t believe they have done something wrong.  The person is angry about being called out on their behavior, & will apologize just to shut you up.
  • Insincere apologies are vague, rather than specific.  Rather than saying, “I’m sorry I cheated on you,” a narcissist may say, “I know I’ve made some mistakes in our marriage.”
  • Sometimes apologies can be used to hurt you.  My mother once told me she realized she made a lot of mistakes while raising me.  I thought maybe she realized what she did to me & wanted to apologize for it.  She sounded so sincere.  Instead, she continued by saying “Obviously I made mistakes.  Just look at how you turned out.”  She guaranteed I would pay attention by sounding sincere & by what she said.  Once she had my full attention, she dropped that cruel bomb on me.
  • Sincere apologies acknowledge the pain that was caused, while insincere ones ignore it.  Using the cheating spouse example again, a sincere apology would be something like, “I’m sorry I cheated on you.  I know doing that has devastated you.  I’m so sorry..it was wrong & it’ll never happen again, I promise.”  Narcissists lack empathy, so your pain that they caused is one of two things- not even a blip on their radar because they didn’t think of you in the slightest, or your pain is something they enjoyed causing you.
  • A narcissist expects you to accept their apology once they say it, then drop the topic forever.  Narcissists don’t want to discuss what happened.  In their minds, saying they’re sorry (no matter how insincerely it’s said) once is good enough.  They said that, so you should be over it & never bring it up again.
  • Narcissists love to make the victim feel that they should forgive & forget.  If you’re a Christian, have been wronged or abused by a narcissist & they apologize to you, chances are very good the narcissist will make you feel like you’re a terrible example of your faith if you don’t forgive & forget what was done to you.  This apology can make you feel as bad or worse than the original offense.
  • Some narcissists apologize for something they think you’re upset about in order to placate you.  My father has done this.  After my mother in-law passed away in 2016, my parents & I had a huge argument.   My father later apologized to me for asking if my husband & I were still together during that argument.  (He kept trying to deflect me off the topic).  Granted, it wasn’t a good thing to ask, but it also wasn’t the reason I was so angry with him.  I told him that & explained exactly why I was angry.  He looked at me like a deer in the headlights.  Clearly, he couldn’t understand why I’d be upset that he & my mother wanted to “pay their respects” to someone who had been so cruel & abusive to me.  Also, it was obvious he thought that all should be fine- he apologized.  Never mind the fact what he apologized for wasn’t the thing he should have apologized for.

 

Dear Reader, please keep these actions in mind when you must deal with a narcissist.  Remembering them will help you not to buy their insincere apology.  You don’t need that aggravation!  If you fall for their apology, they’ll see you as someone they can manipulate & do so more & more.  Who needs that?!  You don’t!  And, you deserve to be treated better than that.

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Signs Of Toxic People

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Some Recent Miracles That I Believe Will Encourage You

I’ll warn you up front- this post may sound rather strange to you & will be long.  That being said, I want to share my story to encourage & help people understand just how much God truly loves His children!

As I mentioned previously, my father died on Monday, October 23.  That day was strange as were the following days.

Early that Monday afternoon, a neighbor of ours came by to visit as he frequently does.  He could tell I’d been crying & asked what was going on.  I told him that my father was being taken off life support that day, & I was sick of people attacking me for not being there.  He gave me some good advice that I want to share with you in case you’re going through a similar situation.  (Pardon the bad language in advance- this is just how he talks.  He’s not one to sugarcoat things, obviously, but he has a good heart.) He said, “”Girl, you gotta protect your heart. Don’t let that s**t get inside you. Crazy a*s people need to mind their own f*****g business.  They don’t know s**t about your situation.  You do what you need to & f**k them!”  My neighbor was absolutely right.  In these situations, people do need to mind their own business (not that they usually do unfortunately)!  You also have to protect your heart & not let their hatefulness get inside you.

A little later that same afternoon, before I knew my father was gone, a good friend of mine got a word from God.  He told her that He left my father on life support for so long to try to get him saved.  My father talked to God about many things but mostly why I wouldn’t see him.  He even argued with God & even said he was a good father.  God showed him otherwise.  My father also didn’t want to die with unfinished business- he wanted to see me, & God told him that wasn’t going to happen.  He showed him Heaven & Hell & told him to choose.  He eventually repented & chose Heaven.  About one hour later, my father was dead, passing quietly once life support was removed.

While my friend got this word, I was outside with my husband & our neighbor.  I saw a monarch butterfly & it felt odd.  Usually butterflies are something my grandfather & I shared, but this didn’t feel that way somehow.  I’d also had an odd sensing off & on of my father fighting with God, as I had for the previous few days.  I came inside my house a bit later,  & saw my friend’s message.  She said yes, my father was indeed fighting in the spiritual realm for quite some time.  God told her to tell me my father will see me again one day & he’s very sorry.  Also it’s because of all the prayers he finally got saved, & I am to continue praying for my mother.  (Never give up praying for someone, Dear Reader!!  God truly hears those prayers!!)

Later on Monday, I took a shower.  When I was about to get into the tub, I suddenly remembered something important.  I’d asked God to give me a sign if my father was with Him after he died.  That was the monarch butterfly!  And, God spoke to me saying that me not having any contact with my father for his final few months served an important purpose- not only to protect myself, but also to force my father to reach out to God.

I messaged my friend with this new information once I got out  of the shower.  She agreed that I have my sign, the monarch, that my father is with God, & also to never give up praying for my mother.  God also told her those who judged & harassed me had better stop He’ll intervene.  Thankfully she also prayed a hedge of protection around me.

My friend also said she asked God,  “Why do they wait until the last minute!?”  The Lord told her, “Because they allowed the devil to take them captive to do his will,”  (2 Timothy 2:25-26  “in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26) and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” (NKJV) )

And, she saw this verse come up on biblegateway.com (great site, by the way!!)  “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ”. Galatians 6:2 (NKJV)  This is what she did for me- bore my burden on a day I needed help bearing it.

These Scriptures also came to her attention:

Matthew 19:23-30 “With God All Things Are Possible 23) Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24) And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 25) When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26) But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27) Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?” 28) So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29) And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[a] or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. 30) But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (NKJV)

My friend also said God did indeed say everything I thought He’d said.  My father didn’t want to die, especially without seeing me.  He thought he was dying too soon & didn’t realize his eternity was depending on his choice at that time.  Thankfully, he did realize the truth though!

She also researched the symbolism of monarch butterflies. Monarchs are royalty – that is why God sent me the monarch butterfly as my sign, to say that my father is now a member of God’s royal family!

Tuesday, the following day, my husband took off work.  We went out & when we were coming out of one building, I saw another monarch butterfly!  What makes that especially interesting is that earlier in the morning, thinking about everything, I asked God if it was real & if so, give me a sign.  Honestly, it was hard to believe & quite overwhelming.  So God sent me another monarch!  Then at a traffic light, I saw a little yellow butterfly & heard my Granddad’s  voice say “Good job, Kid!” I immediately knew what he meant- good job keeping up the prayers in spite of everything.

Wednesday, after quite a bit of prayer, I wanted to visit the cemetery where my father was to be buried.  I had my father’s Bible for many years, because he’d asked me to put it in the casket with him when he died.  I opened the Bible & found many cards, paperwork, etc.  I cleaned out the things that didn’t look sentimental & found a sheet of notes my father wrote documenting some of the abusive things my mother had done to me.  Then, my husband & I went to the cemetery.  The cemetery staff kindly directed me to the proper funeral home that would take care of that, & a very lovely lady helped me make this possible. She even stated that it would be placed in the coffin where it couldn’t be seen, & no one would know it was there.  And, she gave me some memory cards.  My mother was due to visit the cemetery that day but God spared me from running into her!

Then on Friday, the day my father was buried, I looked out the kitchen window & saw yet another monarch on the marigolds in my back yard.  I grabbed the camera & couldn’t see him when I got back to the window.  I saw some movement in the flowers so I went outside with the camera.  Finally as I got close, the butterfly flew out of the middle of the flowers directly towards me, then off over the house.

An interesting fact- monarch butterflies aren’t overly common in my area, let alone in October.  They migrate south towards Florida from September-November, but here, usually by October, I don’t see any.

Anyway, when I came back into my house after seeing that monarch, I asked my Amazon Echo Dot to play music by Wham!  I thought some fun ’80’s music might be good for me.  Instead, it played Waylon Jennings’ song, “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line.”  I don’t know this song, which is truly strange since my father loves Waylon Jennings & I thought I’d heard every one of his songs.  This song is about a guy with a vicious, hateful wife & he stays with her in spite of it all.  I remembered my father saying once my mother told him if he left her, he’d never see me again.  I knew God & my father wanted me to know that he felt trapped & unable to protect me from my mother.

Later that afternoon I decided to get out the papers I’d found in my father’s Bible.  I only found one page of notes my father kept about conversations with my mother, even though it looks like there were others (there was a part of a sentence at the top of the page).  Reading them hurt a lot, but I think I see more about why my father didn’t protect me or even really himself from my mother.  In fact, as I was writing this post & considering those notes, God spoke to my heart & said, “Your father didn’t have your inner strength.”

All of these bizarre occurrences have been extremely helpful.  It’s such a relief knowing my father is in Heaven.  I really didn’t think he’d make it.  It also showed me how kind & merciful God is.  I’d been praying for my father for quite some time.  For his salvation, I also asked God to take him before the Alzheimer’s got too bad, not to let him suffer when his time did come yet not to take him before getting saved.  Those prayers were all answered.  Every single one of them!!  God even gave me signs that they were answered- my intuition, the monarch butterflies & mostly the word from God to my friend.  And, although it was very hard for me to stay away from my father when he was dying, I know it was for an important purpose!  I’m sure many people won’t believe that since they thought I should obey them & go to him no matter what.  I know the truth though, & that is God wanted me to stay away as a way to reach my father!  God is truly amazing!

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An Update & Valuable Lessons

Remember my recent post about my father?  Last Monday, October 23, my father passed away.

 

I didn’t visit him once in the hospital.  As I’ve said before, no contact means no contact, no matter what.  It’s been very hard though.  I wished I could’ve said goodbye, but I knew not doing so was my only option.  Every time I doubted & asked God if I should go, not only would He tell me no, signs came out of everywhere telling me not to go.  It was pretty incredible!  He told me mentally & physically, I couldn’t take it.  The stress as well as the vicious people involved would be too much for my mental & physical health.  Even so, staying away was still hard.  Apparently it bothered others as well judging by the many hateful messages I’ve gotten from people who don’t even know me.  Little did I know that more was happening, & staying away truly was the right thing to do in many ways, not just for myself.

 

I’ll discuss it in more detail in the next post, but I received a word of knowledge that my father was born again at the very end of his life.  Me staying away was a part of why that happened, because it meant my father finally cried out to God.

 

The reason I’m telling you this, Dear Reader, is not only to give you an update, but also to let you know that God is truly good & faithful.  If you know in your heart He wants you to do or not to do something, listen to it!  Even if you don’t understand why, know He has a very good reason.  Don’t cave into pressure from anyone!  They don’t know your situation because they haven’t lived it- why would their input have any value?  They also aren’t you, so even if they know your situation, they would handle it differently because you two are different people.  They don’t know your heart & mind well enough to know what is best for you.  God, however, does.  Listen to & trust Him & only Him!  He is well worth listening to & trusting!

 

Also, never give up praying for someone.  You may not see them give their life to Jesus, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t do it.  It happened with my father one hour before he died, while comatose.  If that was possible, isn’t anything possible?  After all, Matthew 19:26 says, “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (KJV)

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Why You Should Stay No Contact With A Narcissist No Matter What

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Getting To Know The Real You

As someone who has been through a lot of narcissistic abuse, like many others, I have had to get to know the real me.  My parents told me who I was my entire life until our relationship ended, & sadly, I believed them for far too long.  I assumed they were right- I was stupid, ugly, fat, a horrible disappointment, wasn’t allowed to have any boundaries, was responsible for fixing other people’s problems, was the reason for any problem in any relationship I had, the world’s worst pet parent & more.

 

In the last few years, I have gotten very serious about dumping their cruel ideas & getting to know who God made me to be.  I hadn’t realized it until today, but in that process, I haven’t forgotten who my parents told me to be.  Instead, I still remember it, but I no longer believe it.  I choose to believe what God says about me rather than their cruel & abusive words.

 

I think remembering what they say is important, at least it is for me, so I’m going to guess it may be for some of you as well.  It’s a good reminder just how abusive & dysfunctional my parents truly are.  That helps me to stay no contact even when the flying monkeys come out.  It also reminds me of how long I tolerated such abuse, how I refuse to tolerate that anymore & how much healing I’ve done in the last few years.

 

Remembering their words also helps me to realize how little they actually knew me.  Typical of narcissists, my parents never took the time to get to know me.   I am absolutely nothing like what they say I am & never have been.  One example is when I was 17 & my mother accused me of having sex with my entire high school football team.  I’ve always seen sex as something to be shared with someone special, & never was promiscuous.  For her to think I was capable of something like that is absolutely insane.  Just more proof of how little she knew me to believe I was capable of something like that.  And, if someone knows me so little, then why should I take their opinions of me seriously?  You only listen to the opinions of someone who knows something about a matter, right?  Would you ask an artist how to fix that pinging sound your engine makes?  No- you’d ask a mechanic.  So why would you give any credence to the words of someone who knows nothing about you?

 

Also, criticisms from a narcissist are often nothing but projection.  They have nothing to do with you & everything to do with the narcissist.  By accusing you of doing things that she actually does, it allows her to be upset about that flaw, to vent her anger or disgust, while accepting no personal responsibility about it or making appropriate changes.  If those criticisms aren’t about you, why would you hold onto them, & think they are?

 

If you think it may help you to remember what your narcissistic parent has said about you as it has me, then give it a try.  Think about what they said about you.  Or maybe write them down since writing often brings clarity that speaking doesn’t.  Chances are, you’ll see how incredibly foolish what was said about you was.  Of course it hurt, but it was also foolish.  You’ll also see how untrue it was.  And, once you realize those were all lies, you can stop believing them & get to know yourself as the wonderful person God made you to be.   xoxo

 

 

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One Person Cannot Fix A Relationship

Many of us raised by narcissistic parents have similar experiences.  One experience so many of us share is being told we need to fix things.  We need to find out what works & repair the damaged relationship with our narcissistic parent.

Maybe because so many people have such a warped view of the parent/child relationship they think the children should be the ones to fix it when there is a problem.  Or, maybe it’s simply because people realize that we are the reasonable, sane ones & the narcissist isn’t, they think we should fix it.  Either way, the expectation is absolutely absurd.

The simple fact is that one person can’t fix a relationship.  It takes two people to make a relationship work, not one, especially when one person in the relationship is a narcissist.

Narcissists are unlike normal people in many ways.  One of which is they do not have the capacity to care what others think or feel.  All they want is what matters, period.  Healthy relationships require both people to actively work on it & consider what the other person’s needs are.  That will NOT happen in a relationship with a narcissist no matter how much you might want it to.

The only way to have any success in a relationship with a narcissist is to completely forget yourself & focus on them completely.  Ignore any wants, needs, thoughts or feelings you have & keep the narcissist as your top priority 100% of the time.  Even this success will be fleeting, however, because narcissists constantly change the rules.  What makes them happy today may not make them happy next week, then three weeks later, that thing makes them happy again.  I have tried this personally in my younger & more dysfunctional days, & can tell you that every word I write is true.  No matter how much you give or how you change to please the narcissist, it won’t work.  Nothing is ever good enough.  It is absolutely impossible to please a narcissist.

So, Dear Reader, the next time someone tells you that you need to fix the relationship with your narcissistic parent, please remember what I have said.  Chalk their foolish words up to a lack of wisdom.  They clearly have no idea what they are saying, & how impossible the task is.  Or, if they are a flying monkey for the narcissist, & they do know how she is, they are abusers themselves.  Abuse isn’t always about actively abusing someone- it can be more passive, such as encouraging a person to stay in an abusive relationship.

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Dysfunctional Ways Narcissists Cope- Reinventing The Past

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How To Cope With Smear Campaigns

When something happens with a narcissist, either an argument or you go no contact with them, they almost always start a smear campaign against you.

 

A smear campaign is when the narcissist tells anyone who will listen how cruel & unreasonable you were to her, how she doesn’t understand how you can treat her this way after all she did for you & other similar nonsense.  She may even add in lies, such as you’re mentally unstable or an addict to discredit you to the listener.

 

It’s only normal to want to defend yourself against such nonsense.  It hurts when people believe these lies, especially when those people are close to you.  Any normal person would want to convince those people that what the narcissist said about you was nothing but lies.  However, this is not a good idea!

 

By speaking out against the narcissist’s lies, it only serves to convince those who believe the lies that the narcissist is right.  They think you are crazy, jealous, bitter, unreasonable or other awful things that the narcissist said you are.  It’s not fair, but it’s how this situation works almost every single time.

 

The only way to defend yourself successfully against a narcissist’s smear campaign is not to defend yourself.  Although it sounds counterproductive, please hear me out.

 

Everything narcissists do boils down to them trying to gain narcissistic supply.  Any strong reaction from you, whether it’s positive or negative provides them with supply.  By creating this smear campaign, they are hoping to provoke anger & even hatred from you since that would provide supply.

 

The smear campaign is also done to discredit you in case you start speaking about the things the narcissist did to you.  If they can make people think you’re crazy, unreasonable, etc., people won’t believe what you say about the narcissist.  The narcissist’s reputation will be protected while yours is ruined, if the campaign goes as well as they expect it to.

 

By living your life as if nothing is happening, you’re depriving the narcissist of her precious narcissistic supply, which means she will get bored with you & leave you alone at some point.  You also are creating doubt in those who believe the smear campaign.  They will see that you act as a normal person, & start to wonder if the narcissist is really right about what she said.  You sure don’t seem crazy, unstable, etc. like the narcissist said.  Maybe what she said about you isn’t true after all.  In fact, the narcissist’s mask may fall off entirely, & others will see the monster under the mask.

 

So remember, Dear Reader, when this happens to you (& it will at some point if you’ve had a narcissist in your life), ignore the smear campaign!  Although it bothers you, never let that show.  Vent to safe people close to you, journal about your feelings & as always, pray, but do not let your hurt, anger or frustration show to anyone involved in the smear campaign!

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Why It’s Important To Stay No Contact

So much information preaches no contact.  They say it’s the only solution for dealing with a narcissist & you’re naive if you think otherwise, so just do it already!  It fixes everything!

 

To a degree, this is true.  Usually no contact is the only solution since it’s not like narcissists are prone to change or willing to work on creating a mutually beneficial, healthy relationship.

 

There is one thing no one mentions though- that no contact needs to be done only after you are 1,000% sure you can do it indefinitely, no matter what.

 

If you go no contact with a narcissist then later resume the relationship, things will NOT go well with you!  Sure, they might for a short time, but it won’t last.

 

If a narcissist is able to lure you back into the relationship, you are showing that you’re weak & have no boundaries.  She sees you as easy prey.  The same thing goes if you initiate contact again after a period of no contact.  Once you go no contact, you need to stay no contact for good, no matter what!

 

In 1993, I went no contact with my mother.  It was a foolish move on my part.  I gave into the frequent pressure of my ex husband & told her to get out of my life during an argument.  It wasn’t a well thought out move on my part.  A few months later I ran into my parents at a local mall & when my mother told me I needed to come to her home soon after, I blindly obeyed.  It was a huge mistake!  My mother knew I had no boundaries to speak of & she could treat me like dirt without repercussions.

 

In 2001, I went no contact with her again.  This time, it lasted until 2007 when I allowed my mother back in my life.  It was better at first, but that is because I’d been working on my healing.  I also had learned about boundaries.  Even so, it wasn’t long & my mother was back to treating me terribly.  The verbal abuse was much more intense, more so than it had been prior to going no contact.

 

I’ve heard similar stories of this happening from many people.  They went no contact, then resumed the relationship & although it may have been nice for a short time, it quickly turned even worse than it once was.

 

If you’re considering going no contact with the narcissist in your life, I would like to urge you today to seriously consider it.  I’m not saying don’t do it, & stay in the relationship, of course.  That decision is yours & no one should tell you what to do in that regard.   I’m just saying be absolutely 1,000% positive that if you opt for no contact, once you do it, nothing can lure you back into the relationship.

 

Think about all aspects of being no contact.  What if the narcissist suddenly became an invalid or terminally ill- would you have the strength to continue to stay no contact under such circumstances?  What if flying monkeys come at you from every direction- do you feel you could withstand whatever they throw at you or would you cave in, & contact the narcissist?  If the narcissist in your life is a parent or other relative, could you handle seeing that person at family gatherings & avoiding a scene if she starts one?  You may lose relationships with those people you & the narcissist both know- will you be OK with that?  You will be betrayed, unfortunately- it’s a given.  Some people you think love you & will understand won’t understand.  Can you cope with that kind of pain?  Can you protect yourself however necessary if the narcissist begins to stalk & harass you, or has the flying monkeys do it?

 

I know these topics are incredibly difficult to think about, but you absolutely need to do so before deciding on no contact.

 

Sadly, no contact often the best choice you can make.  However it should never be done lightly.  If you’re considering going no contact, don’t do it after a big fight or even after an especially pleasant conversation with the narcissist.  Think & pray about it after you’ve had some time apart from the narcissist so you can think clearly.  Ask God what you should do & listen for His answer.

 

If you feel you want to go no contact but are unable to at this time for whatever reason, that’s fine.  Listen to God- His timing is always perfect!  In the meantime, do your best with refusing to provide any narcissistic supply (also known as the Gray Rock Method) & enforcing healthy boundaries.  While a relationship with a narcissist is incredibly difficult, it’s better to hang in there for a short time longer than to go no contact & be lured back in at a future date.  I promise you that!

 

So, Dear Reader, if you’re considering going no contact, please consider what I’ve said in this post.  Pray & think long & hard about going no contact before you do it.  Think about all kinds of scenarios that could arise, even down to the death of the narcissist.  And, know you may still be surprised by the lows of the narcissist & her flying monkeys, no matter how thoroughly you try to think things out.  It’ll be hard to do but it really will help you in the long run.

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When A Narcissistic Parent Is Dying

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When Narcissistic Rage Turns Especially Vicious

As open as I try to be about my experience with narcissists, I have kept a few things private, partly due to the fact I haven’t felt the timing was right to discuss them.  One of those things I feel it’s time to discuss it in the hopes this story will help some of you.

 

Several years ago, I was pretty close with someone.  As time wore on, I began to see some signs that she was a narcissist.  I wasn’t sure how to deal with the situation.  We knew many of the same people, & every single one thought so well of her.  I knew it’d be miserable for me when I went no contact with her because of them telling me what a great person she is, etc.  I also knew her well enough to know if I went no contact, she would do her best to make my life miserable.

 

I began to pull away some, to help me think of how to handle things & to implement the Gray Rock method (basically, providing her no narcissistic supply so she got bored with me).  During this time, something happened that ended our friendship.

 

I did something she didn’t approve of & she felt I tried to make her look bad when that wasn’t the case.  She immediately unfriended me on Facebook, then tried to re-friend me.  We exchanged a couple of messages, then I refused her friend’s request & blocked her.  She tried contacting me via other means.  She emailed, texted & tried reaching me via all sorts of social media.  She left bad reviews for two of my books on amazon & on my website.  When I blocked her from accessing my website, she used another person’s computer to access it.  She copied an article I wrote on forgiveness & pasted it into an email she sent me.  It gave me the chills.. I felt she was saying not only that I needed to forgive her, but also that I couldn’t stop her from accessing me if she wanted to.  NOT normal behavior!

 

During the early stages of this, I only told my husband & one other person we both knew about the situation.  I was sure if I told others who told her what I said about her, she would get even angrier at me.  I could imagine her saying I was lying or trying to ruin her relationships or something like that.  I finally talked to the police, & unfortunately in my state, she didn’t technically break the law with her harassment.  That meant there was nothing I could do legally.

 

Meanwhile, I was afraid she’d show up at my home one day, even though she lived about three hours away.  She seemed clearly mentally unbalanced to me, judging by her behavior.  My husband said she wouldn’t go that far.  The mutual friend of ours said the same, & that she’s just hurt- she’ll get bored & leave me be soon.

 

This harassment went on constantly for well over a year, then died down gradually.  It’s been four years since it started.  Recently, this person did more things.

 

Unfortunately, this type of behavior is very common among narcissists.

 

When you decide to go no contact or have an argument with a narcissist, you too may be on the receiving end of a narcissistic rage.  If this happens, you need to be prepared for it.

 

Possibly the most common tool used by narcissists in a rage is flying monkeys.   (If you click on the link in the previous sentence, it’ll take you to a helpful post I wrote on the topic.)  Sometimes though, when the narcissist knows she’s wrong, she won’t use them, like in my situation.  There really wasn’t a way to spin the situation I was in around to where she looked like the victim, so people might not be on her side.  She had to handle the situation herself.  When this happens, it can be really bad, as you saw from my story.

 

If you’re in a situation similar to mine, you need to protect yourself.  Talk to your local police.  Stalking laws vary from place to place, & you need to find out if your narcissist has broken the law.

 

Document every single thing.  Save voicemail messages.  Take screenshots.  Save emails & texts, preferably by emailing them to yourself & save them on your ISP or cloud storage to protect yourself against computer or phone crashes.  Even if your narcissist hasn’t broken the law, she may at some point.  Then, you will have evidence of her bad behavior to show the police & that can help your case.  Personally I have TONS of evidence in case it’s ever needed.

 

Ignore, ignore, ignore!  I know this is hard.  I wanted to confront my narcissist & tell her to leave me alone countless times.  However, a narcissist will take confronting as proof that she is scaring or upsetting you- that will encourage her to do what she’s doing even more.  Never let her know if you feel afraid or upset.  Ignore her completely whenever possible.  If she knocks on your door, don’t answer even if she knows you’re home.  Post “no trespassing” signs on your land. Don’t take her calls or respond to emails or texts.

 

Think about the people you have in common.  If you’re not 1,000% sure they will be on your side & keep what you say to themselves, don’t tell them about her actions.  The last thing you need is someone telling the narcissist you’re talking about her.  That will be a narcissistic injury.  She’ll take it as you talking badly about her & for no reason.  That will add to her rage & make her behavior even worse.

 

Narcissists can be very dangerous people, so never, ever underestimate them.  They may present themselves as harmless, but they’re not.  I never expected the one in my story capable of harassing me for so long.  Look how wrong I was!

 

Most of all, pray.  As God for wisdom on how to handle this difficult situation.  Ask Him for strength & courage, as well as protection for you, your family, your home, your job.. anything & everything you can think of.  Trust in Him to keep you safe & help you to survive this situation.  He truly will!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

When A Narcissistic Parent Is Dying

At of the time I’m writing this, my father is in the ICU on life support, dying from leukemia.  As a result, now I am having to put into practice the things I’ve written about before.

 

When I went no contact with my father earlier this year (prior to his diagnosis), I knew this scenario was very likely to happen.  My father has had a myriad of health problems for years, & is, well, no spring chicken anymore.  So, I prepared- I prayed & thought a lot about what would I do if this happened?  Should I resume the relationship with my parents at the end of their lives, even knowing they won’t improve their behavior or will get worse?  Could my physical & mental health tolerate that?  Should I stay away no matter what?  If I did stay away, could I handle the guilt?  How would I handle the pressure from outsiders telling me to go when I knew I couldn’t do it?

 

Aside from the pain of losing my father, I’ve had many people come out of the woodwork to tell me to go to the hospital to see him.  I should “put my feelings aside so he can die in peace,”  “I only have one set of parents” & more.  One even anonymously emailed me (as if I wouldn’t know who it was?!) information about NPD that she copied from the Mayo Clinic’s site, insinuating that I’m a narcissist for not going.

 

This is the kind of stuff that happens when a narcissistic parent is dying, & you, Dear Reader, need to be prepared for it since it can happen to you as well.

 

To start with, pray.  Ask God to show you what you should do if & when your narcissistic parent becomes terminally ill, & ignore advice from everyone when the time comes.  God knows best what you should do- no human being knows what He knows.  Let Him guide you.  Also ask Him to give you whatever it is you will need when that time comes- wisdom, courage, strength, etc.  You’ll especially need those things if you opt to see your parent or become involved in a caregiver role.

 

Stay close to God.  Talk with Him often.  Let Him strengthen & comfort you, because you’re going to need those things more than you ever have in your life.

 

Ignore the pressure from everyone.  You do what you believe God wants you to do & ignore everyone else.  They haven’t been in your situation, so they don’t understand it.  That doesn’t prevent them from judging it, however.  Ignore them.  You have to answer to God, not people, so obey Him.  You’ll never please people anyway.  Even if you became your parent’s full time caregiver, people would still criticize you, especially the ones who aren’t involved with helping.  (Interesting how that seems to  work- the ones who do nothing usually are the fastest to judge & criticize those who do it all.)

 

Don’t hesitate to block people’s phone numbers, emails or social media.  Yes, it just sucks.  It hurts cutting your own family or friends out of your life, but, you have to protect yourself.  Blocking them will hurt less than allowing them to fill your phone or inbox with hurtful, manipulative, guilt/shame laden messages.  Also, be aware that they may find other ways to access you that you hadn’t thought of.  One of my cousins that I’d blocked used her dead mother’s Facebook to contact me.  That was a shocking moment, seeing a message from my aunt who’s been dead since 2014!  I’ve learned there is no way to protect myself completely- I have to continue blocking various avenues as people try to contact me.  You will find the same thing is true for you.

 

Cling onto what you know is right, no matter what.  I know, it is awful when your parent is dying & you know beyond a shadow of a doubt you can’t say goodbye.  It’s painful for you & makes you feel like a terrible person.  You aren’t though!  Galatians 6:7 says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”  (KJV)  In cases like mine, this is exactly what is happening.  They are reaping the awful harvest that they have sown after abusing me for my entire life.  God has been reminding me of this Scripture repeatedly lately.

 

Don’t let people tell you how to feel.  Even well meaning people may do this with comments like, “You shouldn’t be mad at the flying monkeys for coming after you right now- you have more important things to worry about.”  You feel what you feel, acknowledge those feelings, & deal with them however you feel is appropriate.

 

Have realistic expectations.  If you do decide to say goodbye to your dying narcissistic parent, don’t expect a happy ending.  I haven’t once heard of any narcissist having an epiphany & apologizing for their behavior, even on their death bed.  In fact, quite the opposite.  I’ve heard stories of how cruel they can be to their children until their dying breath.  If you are willing to see your parent so that parent can die in peace, or because it will help you somehow to say goodbye, then do it while leaning on God to help you stay strong even when the abuse continues.  And, if at all possible, go when no one else is there.  Avoid the ones who harassed & shamed you.

 

Think about the funeral.  Do you plan to go?  If so, it can get ugly.  Even funerals aren’t off limits to some flying monkeys.  Can you handle any confrontations with grace & dignity?  Can you handle being shunned?  It may be just too much, in the light of losing your parent.  Visiting the cemetery after everyone has gone home may be a much better option for you.

 

Lastly, don’t expect anything normal about grieving your parent’s death.  The death of a narcissist adds a lot of complexity to the already difficult grief process.  Not only are you losing a parent, you’re losing the last shred of hope that things might be better one day.  You’re losing the chance of ever having closure.  You’ll grieve that your relationship was so toxic.  You also are going to feel relief because the abuse is finished, & guilt because you feel relieved.  You can’t fully prepare for all the things you’re going to feel, & it’s going to hit you hard.  Try not to judge how you feel.  Just accept that you feel as you do, & you’re OK.  Speak only with supportive & understanding friends or relatives only about your feelings.  Others will judge you harshly & not understand.  Journal about your feelings.  Read others’ stories about how they got through it.  Don’t rush the grief- take whatever time you need to get through it all.  Most of all, talk to God.  Lots!  He is there for you & wants to help.  Let Him!

 

Also, you may need to grieve other things such as the loss of friends or family you thought would be supportive of you & turned out not to be.  I learned last year that sometimes it’s possible for people to steal your grief.  What I mean is when you should be grieving the loss of your parent, you’ll also have to deal with other things, such as people attacking you for not “doing the right thing” by your narcissistic parent.  You may find it helpful to mentally put them in a box for a while as you grieve your parent, then deal with them later.  I wrote about this topic in more detail in this post: Stealing Your Grief  There’s also a follow up at this link: Update On “Stealing Grief” Post

You’ll get through this painful time, Dear Reader.  It won’t be easy, but it is possible.  xoxo

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

Give Back To The Narcissist The Bad Things They Gave To You

Narcissists love to put their issues on other people rather than face them.  Shame is a big one- any shame a narcissistic parent feels is going to be thrust upon their child, for example.

 

After a lifetime of not even realizing I was carrying around my mother’s shame, it finally hit me  in 2015.  As I was recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning, I felt horrible for asking my husband to help me in any way.  I’d nearly died for pity’s sake!  Carbon monoxide poisoning has a high fatality rate & also has a very long recovery time (you do the bulk of your healing 9-12 months after poisoning) during which chances are very good you won’t heal completely.  Yet in spite of all of this, I felt horrible for asking my husband for any help.  After praying about it, God showed me this was all about shame.  It’s very common for those abused as children to experience toxic shame, & I was no exception.

 

One way God showed me to deal with this shame is to imagine myself holding a big box containing shame, handing it off to my mother while telling her “I refuse to carry this for you a moment longer”, then walking away.

 

It sounds silly, but this was very helpful for me.  Even though I can’t physically give my mother back her shame that she’s put on me, by imagining returning it to her, at least I was able to stop carrying it somehow.  It’d be the same as a real scenario if she wouldn’t hold the box.  If I placed it at her feet, I wouldn’t be carrying it any longer.  What she would do at that point would have no effect on that fact.

 

I can’t say I am 100% cured of this toxic shame, but it drastically improved my problem. I no longer feel incredibly guilty about writing about my experiences or asking my husband for things (either stuff or help), & these used to be very big issues for me.  I still fight the guilt with my husband sometimes, but that’s better than every single time.

 

Have you ever tried something like this, Dear Reader?  It doesn’t have to be shame.. it can be anything your narcissistic parent put on you- self-hatred, eating disorders, believing you’re ugly or stupid.  Obviously I can’t guarantee it’ll cure you immediately, but I do believe it’d help you as it helped me.  It’s worth a try, right?

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism